THIS week sees the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in the Swiss town of Davos, perched high in the Alps, ideally situated for a gathering of the world’s leading bosses, bankers, hedge fund owners, economists and politicians.
As one journalist succinctly put it: ‘Davos is like a giant gated community where the 1% can pretend that they care about the other 99%.’ What they really care about is whether capitalism has any future, for stalking the luxurious surroundings of Davos is the fear that their entire system is on the verge of collapse and that the world’s working class is being propelled along the road of revolution.
This was made clear in the Global Risks report for discussion issued last week by the WEF which pinpointed the risk of workers being revolutionised by the world capitalist crisis and identified five dangers for capitalism.
These are: ‘Unemployment or underemployment, Fiscal crises, Failure of national governments, Energy price shock and profound social instability.’ The ruling class and the WEF have taken a hard look at the state of world capitalism and are terrified.
They know full well that a financial crash is imminent; that the bubble in the world stock markets, fuelled by trillions of free money pumped out by central banks around the globe, is set to burst, bringing down the economies of entire countries.
They have seen the movement of workers up in arms against savage austerity cuts that have driven unemployment through the roof and created a young generation that has no future except as part of a gig economy subsisting on low pay and short term working.
While millions of workers and youth around the globe are living below the poverty line, the wealth of the tiny minority of capitalists has grown to obscene levels. According to an Oxfam report issued to coincide with Davos, 42 people hold as much wealth as the 3.7 billion who make up the poorest half of the world’s population.
The WEF is scared stiff as this crisis is completely breaking up the old order, with traditional ruling parties of the bourgeoisie being deserted by workers who will no longer put up with seeing their lives destroyed to keep a bankrupt capitalist system going while the bosses and bankers wallow in huge wealth.
The report makes this clear, saying: ‘People will not come to the rescue of a system that fails them, and fails them by design.’ One man, however, is prepared to ride to the rescue of capitalism at Davos.
John McDonnell, self proclaimed left-socialist and Labour’s shadow chancellor, has been invited to attend along with Theresa May and Donald Trump. According to McDonnell’s spokesman he will set out to the assembled bankers and world leaders the party’s ‘alternative economic approach’ and outline why capitalism is failing and why it is ‘vital we rewrite the rules of the global economy.’
McDonnell’s invitation is being hailed by the reformist leadership of the Labour Party as a sign that the party under Jeremy Corbyn is being taken ‘seriously internationally’. The only thing the capitalist class is taking seriously about the left reformists like McDonnell and Corbyn, is that they represent the main weapon in diverting workers and youth away from socialist revolution and down the blind ally of reforming a bankrupt capitalist system.
This is the historic role of reformism, to attempt to convince workers that there is a way of making capitalism work at a time when capitalism is destroying their lives. While McDonnell is swanning around Davos telling the capitalist class how to reform themselves and avoid revolution, the working class in Britain is seeing its NHS and entire welfare state destroyed by a minority Tory government that the Labour Party has steadfastly refused to bring down.
There is no reformist solution to the historic crisis of capitalism as McDonnell and Corbyn treacherously preach. The way forward for workers is to break decisively with the reformists and build a new revolutionary leadership that is prepared to lead the struggle to overthrow capitalism and replace it with a socialist society that will consign the bosses and bankers to history. Join the WRP and build this revolutionary leadership.